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Civil War and State Formation

The Political Economy of War and Peace in Liberia

The scene of two devastating civil wars since 1989, Liberia had widely been considered a failed state until the international professional Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was democratically elected president in 2005. This book investigates the political economy of civil war and democratic peace, arguing that the civil wars did not represent state decay, but exhibited dynamics characteristic of state formation. In the analysis of post-war developments, which emphasizes the intertwining of corruption and democracy under the new regime, Felix Gerdes details both political progress and persistent structural deficits of the polity.  

390 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 3/8

Micropolitics of Violence

African Studies

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

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“According to [Gerdes], while life is still tough for most Liberians, they are much freer than they were historically, and have more opportunities to organize politically, express their opinion, and put pressure on their leaders.”

The New Dawn (Monrovia)

“Puts the developments into historical perspective. . . . [Civil War and State Formation] discusses war, peace, and young states; the first Liberian civil war—the rise of Charles Taylor; and Taylor’s fall and the dawn of a neopatrimonial democracy.”

Journal of Economic Literature

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